Did the five races of man evolve out of five races of Homo erectus?
John B. further explains Carleton Coon’s ingenious multi-regional theory of human evolution, which was once in competition with the Out of Africa theory, and is now largely dismissed; and I reply.
Update: However, emerging from Mathilda’s Anthropology Blog is startling information, from up to date research, indicating a vastly older origin of human racial differences than is generally thought, and a vastly older, and non-African, oriigin of man. It looks, in short, something like a revival of the long discarded view of Coon. I can scarcely believe it. I will be posting some quotes from Mathilda and her sources later in the weekend. You can check out the discussion at her site here.
Update: In fact, Mathilda, who has been consistenly critical of Richard Neave’s “reconstruction” of the first European, is explicitly opposed to the Out of Africa theory, as she explains on her “About me and my blog” page:
I think … the “out of Africa” theory of human evolution is so wrong it’s ridiculous, even though the media seem to be all for it. I’m not the only anthropology fan or anthropologist that thinks this way, it’s not amazingly popular among anthropologists and geneticists. [LA comments: I’d like to know how the genetic markers, which show, e.g., that all non-African humanity shares the same genetic mutation that all sub-Saharan Africans do not have, can be consistent with anything other than the Out of Africa thesis.] I also think that racial differences are a long way from being cosmetic, and there’s no evolutionary reason for us to be the homogeneous species that a lot of people claim we are. There’s evidence to the contrary, like different gestation spans, twinning rates etc.She continues:
Afrocentrism … Anyone who takes a look at the ancient Egypt entries will note a slew of outraged comments from Afrocentrists who deem showing close ups of mummy hair and every available tomb portrait of ancient Egyptians to be racist. They can bite me. It’s not my fault the majority don’t look black.: May 20
Larry G. writes:
If Erectus was the first hominid to spread out of Africa and settle the world, differentiating into Erectus races as much as a million years ago, then how did we get from these Erectus races to Sapiens races? One possibility is the Coon thesis, which I take it to mean a new wave of hominids spread out of Africa and bred with many (perhaps not all) of the Erectus races. Another possibility is parallel evolution. Basic technological developments, such as agriculture, fire for cooking, and tool making, created selection pressures, and the changes produced in each Erectus race was the same because there are only so many useful variations and they all shared similar DNA. Cooking food reduced the need for massive jaws, for example, so every Erectus race eventually saw jaw reduction as they developed cooking. Perhaps both possibilities occurred: a second wave out of Africa and some degree of parallel evolution.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 16, 2009 01:45 AM | Send